Suffolk Women lose in season’s opener

April 24, 2024

THE ability to turn a start into a good score provide pivotal as Suffolk Women lost their opening ECB Women’s County Championship match of the season.

Suffolk went down to Hertfordshire by 85 runs at Letchworth CC on Sunday after winning the toss and electing to bowl first.

The decision looked to be paying dividends as Suffolk reduced Hertfordshire to 109 for 6,

However, the hosts recovered to post 233 all out with seven balls of their 50 over unused thanks to Ella Phillips, batting at No.8, who struck 65 off 85 balls.

Suffolk’s top five all got into double figures but Olivia Locke’s 20 was the highest score of their reply, which ended on 148 one ball shy of 47 overs.

Lara Neild, skippering Suffolk for the first time since being appointed captain, said: “Our main target was to take early wickets, so we were very pleased after the sixth wicket to have achieved this and limited the runs at the same time.

“Hertfordshire have a very strong and aggressive top order, so credit has to go to our opening and first-change bowlers for putting the pressure on.

“Ella Phillips is a talented player and always poses a challenge when at the crease. She capitalised on any short-pitched bowling excellently and continued to rotate strike well. This was something we noticed at the break and focused on as an effective way to play on the pitch.”

Four Suffolk bowlers – Lauren Swinburne (pictured above), Imogen Sidhu, Emily Cunningham and Sophie Hughes – each took two wickets in Hertfordshire’s innings.

Neild said: “I was very pleased with our fielding and bowling, particularly at the start and end of the innings. The pressure of two direct hits out of the first two opportunities, definitely helped to spur us on in the first innings and put some doubt in the minds of the incoming batters.

“For a first game of the season, particularly with limited outdoor training opportunities, the team did extremely well.”

Neild said of Suffolk’s innings: “I think the intent of the team was to score and play to our strengths, however, Hertfordshire’s openers, in particular, started very strong and put a lot of pressure on us to score.

“We were in the game for a long time with the full 11 all being capable with the bat. The difference between the two sides was just the ability to turn a start into a big score.

“It was valuable experience for the first game and something we will look to improve for our next game.”

Despite the defeat, Neild said there were plenty of positives to take from the game.

“There were some clear things to take away and work on from our first game. However, I was pleased with the team’s first performance as it showed a lot of potential for future matches.

“We always have good games against Hertfordshire and the scorecard doesn’t show the nature of the contest compared to the game itself.

“There were lots of positives to take away and I look forward to seeing the team hopefully get its first win on the board at home to Lincolnshire in a couple of weeks’ time,” she added.

Suffolk host Lincolnshire at Woolpit CC in their second ECB Women’s County Championship on Bank Holiday Monday, May 6th, start 11am.


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